Joseph Cooper

Joseph Cooper

Branch Chief


Joseph Cooper is Chief of the Agricultural Policy and Models Branch in ERS's Market and Trade Economics Division. His research focuses largely on farm policy issues.


From July 2005 to July 2006, Joe served as the Senior Economist in charge of agriculture and natural resources issues on the White House's Council of Economic Advisors. This followed a stint as a Deputy Director in the Resource and Rural Economics Division (RRED) at ERS. Before that, Joe was an economist in the RRED Resource and Environmental Policy Branch, where his research covered such topics as the economics of agri-environmental programs, non-market valuation, and the economics of the conservation of agricultural genetic resources. Joe has also worked as an economist for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Joe received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis. He received a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Professional Affiliations

Joe is a member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Selected Publications

Ashok Mishra and J. Cooper. “Impact of Farm programs on Farm Households in the US”, J. of Policy Modeling, 39 (2017): 387-409.

J. Cooper, A. Nam Tran, Steven Wallander. “Testing for Specification Bias with a Flexible Fourier Transform Model for Crop Yields”, American Journal of Agricultural Economics Vol. 99/3 (April 2017): 800-815.

Cooper, J., and B. Delbecq. 2014. “A Multi-Region Approach to Assessing Fiscal and Farm Level Consequences of Government Support for Farm Risk Management,” Bio-Based and Applied Economics 3(3):205-227.

Sproul T., D. Zilberman, and J. Cooper. 2013. “Deductibles versus Coinsurance in Shallow-Loss Crop Insurance,” Choices, 3rd Quarter.

Arnade C., and J. Cooper. 2013. “Acreage Response under Varying Risk Preferences,” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 37(3):398-414.

Cooper, J., C. Zulauf, M. Langemeier, and G. Schnitkey. 2012. “Implications of Within County Yield Heterogeneity for Modeling Crop Insurance Premiums,” Agricultural Finance Review 72(1):134-155.

Cui J., H. Lapan, G. Moschini, and J. Cooper. 2011. “Welfare Impacts of Alternative Biofuel and Energy Policies,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 93(5):1235-1256, October.

Claassen R., J. Cooper, and F. Carriazo. 2011. “Crop Insurance, Disaster Payments, and Land Use Change: The Effect of Sodsaver on Incentives for Grassland Conversion,” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 43(2):195–211, May.

Veronesi M., A. Alberini, and J. Cooper. 2010. “Implications of Bid Design and Willingness-To-Pay Distribution for Starting Point Bias in Double-Bounded Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Surveys,” Environmental and Resource Economics, published on-line Nov. 17, 2010.

Davis C., D. Blayney, A. Muhammad, S. Yen and J. Cooper. 2010. “Cross-Sectional Analysis of U.S. Yogurt Demand,” Journal of Food Distribution Research 41(2):36–45, July.

Cooper, J. 2010. “Average Crop Revenue Election: A Revenue-Based Alternative to Price-Based Commodity Payment Programs,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 92(4):1214-1228, July.

Cooper, J., and D. Hellerstein. 2009. "Do Government Economists Value Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Conferences?" Review of Agricultural Economics 31(4):914-930, December.

Cooper, J. 2009. "The Empirical Distribution of the Costs of Revenue-Based Commodity Support Programs Estimates and Policy Implications," Review of Agricultural Economics 31(2):206-221, Summer.

Cooper, J. 2009. "Distribution of Payments under the Average Crop Revenue Program: Implications for Government Costs and Producer Preferences," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 38(1):49-64, April.

Cooper, J., F. Perali, and M. Veronesi. "Incentivi Economici per la Protezione della Biodiversità e degli Ecosistemi di Proprietà Privata," Economia delle Fonti di Energia e dell'Ambiente, 51(1):107-126.

Cooper, J., and G. Signorello. 2008. "Farmer Premiums for the Voluntary Adoption of Conservation Plans," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 51(1):1-14, January.

Johansson R., J. Cooper, and M. Peters. 2006. "An Agri-environmental Assessment of Trade Liberalization," Ecological Economics 58:37-48.

Johansson R., L. Mancino, and J. Cooper. 2006. "The Big Picture: Obesity, Consumption, and Food Production," Agribusiness: An International Journal 22(4):491-503, Autumn.

Cooper, J., R. Claassen, and J. Bernstein. 2005. "Overview of Agri-Environmental Programs in the European Union and the United States," Farm Policy Journal 2(3):31-41, August.

Johansson R., J. Cooper, and U. Vasavada. 2005. "Greener Acres or Greener Waters? Potential U.S. Impacts of Agricultural Trade Liberalization," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 34(1):1-12, April.

Cooper, J. 2003. "Joint Framework for Analysis of Agri-environmental Payment Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, pp. 976-987, November.

Cooper, J., M. Hanemann, and G. Signorello. 2002. "One and One-Half Bound Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation," Review of Economics and Statistics 84:742-750, November.

Giraud K., B. Turcin, J. Loomis, and J. Cooper. 2002. "Economic Benefit of the Protection Program for the Steller Sea Lion," Marine Policy 26:451-458.

Giraud K., J. Loomis, and J. Cooper. 2001. "A Comparison of Willingness to Pay Estimation Techniques from Referendum Questions: Application to Endangered Fish," Environmental and Resource Economics 20:331-346, December.

Mullarkey D., J. Cooper, and D. Skully. 2001. "Multifunctionality of Agriculture: Do Mixed Goals Distort Trade," Choices, First Quarter, pp. 31-34.

Cooper, J. 2002. "Flexible-form and Semi-nonparametric Estimation of Willingness to Pay Using Dichotomous Choice Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 2:267-279, March.

Cooper, J. 2001. "Construction of a Fund for the Sharing of Benefits from the Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture," Environment and Development Economics 6:47-62, February.

Cooper, J. 2000. "Nonparametric and Semi-Parametric Travel Cost Methods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 82:245-259, May.

Selected Recent Books and Book Chapters

Claassen R., J. Cooper, C. Salvioni, and M. Veronesi. 2014. “Agri-Environmental Policies: A Comparison of U.S. and E.U. Experiences,” in The Oxford Handbook of Land Economics, J. Duke and J. Wu, eds. New York, NY: Oxford University Press USA.

Signorello G., J. Cooper, G. Cucuzza, and M. Salvo. 2014. “A One‑and‑One‑Half Bound Contingent Valuation Survey to Estimate the Benefits of Restoring a Degraded Coastal Wetland Ecosystem: The Case Study of Capo Feto (Italy),” in Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, P. Nunes, P. Kumar, and T. Dedeurwaerdere, eds. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Cooper, F. Perali, and M. Veronesi, eds. 2006. Integrated Assessment and Management of Public Resources. Cheltenham, UK/ Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Cooper, J. 2005. Global Agricultural Policy Reform and Trade Environmental Gains and Losses, March 2005, Cheltenham, UK/ Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Cooper, L. Lipper, and D. Zilberman, eds. 2005. Agricultural Biodiversity and Biotechnology in Economic Development. Boston/Dordrecht/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Selected Recent Bulletins and Reports

Effland A., J. Cooper, and E. O’Donoghue. 2014. “2014 Farm Act Shifts Crop Commodity Programs Away From Fixed Payments and Expands Program Choices,” Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, July.

O’Donoghue, E., A. Effland, and J. Cooper. 2012. “Identifying Federal Farm Programs’ Potential Overlaps,” Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, March.

O’Donoghue, E., A. Effland, J. Cooper, and C. You. 2011. Identifying Overlap in the Farm Safety Net, EIB-87, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November.

Claassen R., F. Carriazo, J. Cooper, and D. Hellerstein. 2011. “Do Farm Programs Encourage Native Grassland Losses?” Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September.

Dismukes R., K. Coble, D. Ubilava, J. Cooper, and C. Arriola. 2011. Alternatives to a State-Based ACRE Program: Expected Payments Under a National, Crop District, or County Base, ERR-126, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September.

Claassen R., F. Carriazo, J. Cooper, D. Hellerstein, and K. Ueda. 2011. Grassland to Cropland Conversion in the Northern Plains: The Role of Crop Insurance, Commodity, and Disaster Programs, ERR-120, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Cooper, J. 2009. Economic Aspects of Revenue-Based Commodity Support, ERR-72, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.

Cooper, J. (lead author chapters 2 and 9). 2008. Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of ResearchBiomass Research and Development Board Feedstock Inter-Agency Working Group, Biomass Research and Development Board, Washington, DC, December.

Cooper, J. 2006. "The U.S. Agricultural Sector" in Economic Report of the President, Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President.

Lubowski R., S. Bucholtz, R. Claassen, M. Roberts, J. Cooper, A. Gueorguieva, and R. Johansson. 2006. Environmental Effects of Agricultural Land-Use Change: The Role of Economics and Policy, ERR-25, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, August.

Cooper, J., R. Johansson, and M. Peters. 2004. "Environmental Issues," in U.S. Agriculture and the Free Trade Area of the Americas, AER-827, M. Burfisher, ed. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, March.

Bernstein J., J. Cooper, and R. Claassen. 2004. "Agriculture and the Environment," in EU-U.S. Comparison Report, WRS-04-04, M. Normile, ed. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Hellerstein D., C. Nickerson, J. Cooper, P. Feather, D. Gadsby, D. Mullarkey, A. Tegene, and C. Barnard. 2002. Farmland Protection: The Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities, AER-815, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Nimon W., J. Cooper, and M. Smith. 2002. "NAFTA, Agricultural Trade, and the Environment," in Effects of North American Free Trade Agreement on Agriculture and the Rural Economy, WRS-02-01, S. Zahniser and J. Link, eds. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, July.

Alberini, A., and J. Cooper. 2000. Applications of the Contingent Valuation Method in Developing Countries: A Survey, Economic and Social Development Paper No. 146, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Italy, 63 pp.